TULSA, Oklahoma – The Tulsa Drillers nine-game win streak came to an end Thursday with a 7-3 loss to Springfield.
Despite the loss, Tulsa still has a chance at a Texas League playoff spot because the Drillers and Arkansas Naturals still have a three game series left to play.
Springfield struck first. Jose Garcia led off the game with a single, and Charles Cutler followed with another hit. Drillers pitcher Christian then caught Garcia breaking for third, but the lefthander over threw the ball to third baseman Erik Wetzel, giving the Cards the first run of the game. Later in the inning, Chris Swauger's base hit scored Cutler to make it 2-0.
The Drillers answered in the bottom of the first when with one out, Tommy Field singled and Ben Paulsen blasted his 19th home run to deep right-center field to tie the game at 2-2.
In the second, the Cards mounted a two-out rally to plate two more runs. Garcia knocked another single, then advanced to third on a triple by Cutler. Donovan Solano followed with a double that scored Cutler to give Springfield a 4-2 lead.
Tulsa cut the deficit to one with an unearned run in the third inning. With runners on first and second and two outs Bronson Sardinha hit a chopper over the mound that shortstop Garcia fielded cleanly, but his throw was sailed over the head of first baseman Eric Duncan and into the Drillers dugout, allowing Field to come home to make it 4-3.
Cutler struck again in the fourth inning to put the Drillers in a deep hole. One out singles from pitcher Joe Kelly and Garcia put runners at first and second. Cutler followed with a drive into the right field bullpen area. The homer was the catcher's 5th of the year and put the Cardinals in front 7-3.
Tulsa's Friedrich threw 79 pitches and lasted only 3 1/3 innings. He surrendered seven runs (6 ER) and 10 hits and took the loss, dropping his record to 6-10. Cory Riordan relieved Friedrich and retired all 11 batters he faced, five via strikeouts. Casey Weathers worked a perfect eighth inning.
The Drillers and Cardinals will conclude their series Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at ONEOK Field.